It is hard to imagine the Arizona Cardinals being any better than they were a year ago when they won the NFC West with a 13-3 record, second to only the Carolina Panthers in the NFL overall.
However, sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com apparently think Arians can improve upon that mark this season and win Coach of the Year honors for a third time at +600 odds (bet $100 to win $600), making him the favorite to win the award.
Arians was named Coach of the Year following his second year in Arizona, leading the team to an 11-5 record two years after he went 9-3 with the Indianapolis Colts, taking over for Chuck Pagano who was sidelined due to leukemia. Few doubt Arians’ coaching ability, but the team’s success typically is the key leading to the winner.
Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings is the +650 second choice to win NFL Coach of the Year and led his team to a drastic improvement last season. Zimmer’s Vikings were 7-9 in his first year and then went 11-5 in 2015, winning the NFC North before losing to the Seattle Seahawks 10-9 at home in the Wild Card round of the playoffs on a missed field goal by kicker Blair Walsh.
If the Panthers had not gone a league-best 15-1 during the regular season, Zimmer would have been more worthy of winning it last year.
Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs finished second behind the Panthers’ Ron Rivera in 2015 NFL Coach of the Year voting, garnering four more votes than Zimmer and Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans, who tied for third.
Reid is listed at +1200 this season and will probably have to win the AFC West for the first time if he is going to take home the award for the second time with his second different team.
One coach who hopes that will not be the case is Mike McCoy of the San Diego Chargers because he is the +350 favorite to be fired first. McCoy saw the Chargers go 4-12 last year following a pair of 9-7 campaigns in his first two seasons at the helm. Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions is the +400 second choice to be the first coach fired.